Samsung NX200 vs SONY NEX 7 Sport
Conditions are really hard, as there is no much light inside, and dark blue background of the hall, sometimes make the cameras to miss the focus.
The hall is made of semi-transparent material, so some of the day light falls in to otherwise fluorescent lighting. As the weather changes too fast, I couldn’t use manual exposure, what would be best in stable lighting conditions.Here are some of my findings:
Samsung NX200 – best results I obtained in the shutter priority mode, AF set to continuous, selected AF area (smallest square), AF tracking and high speed drive. ISO is usually at 1600, as the shutter speed for tennis game I used to set is between 1/250 and 1/1000.
AF was slow and hard to lock. I tried also the scene – sport mode, that sets the AF area as the multi-spot, hoping that the action should fall within DOF at such a slow lens, but it didn’t. Camera actually choose too slow shutter speeds (1/125) in effort to reduce ISO. So while I maybe would fit within DOF, I experienced motion blur.
High speed drive mode with a resolution setting at RAW/Fine JPEG ended with some 2-3 shot bursts. Main problem is that you have then to wait for over 15-20s, before the buffer is cleaned. Overall keeper rate (acceptable sharpness, not perfect one) was 1 of 5 shots – 20%.
On the following picture you can see 100% crops of selected 6 images. Developed in LR4 and sharpness and NR were set both to Zero.
Sony NEX 7 – best results I obtained again in the shutter priority mode, continuous AF, AF tracking and AF selected area. So pretty much the same. Being able to control your shutter speed, and if the lighting conditions allows you to go for manual exposure, all you should do is keeping your eye for under (less often over) exposure and adjust your ISO or shutter speed accordingly. NEX 7 was more responsive, AF was faster to lock, but it hunts when the subject went in front of the dark blue area. Cleaning the buffer was much faster then with Samsung but I didn’t get more then 4 shots in the burst. Maybe the best results could be obtained with the manual focus, but I didn’t try it. Anyway, keepers rate were higher at around 1 from 2 – 50%.
Here are NEX 7 crops:
You can check respective settings from the Lightroom window, but obviously Samsung NX200 did underexpose images in comparison to NEX 7.
Now, let’s run away from pixel peeping and see if with some PP, we can obtain photos good enough for regular prints or monitors…
First two shots from NEX 7 with some fast LR and Photoshop adjustments. With more time and some specialized plug-ins better results could be achieved. Those are over-sharpened a bit and the colors are not well balanced, but for the regular prints they should be fine.
And Samsung NX200
As you can see, with both cameras you can get some usable results in very difficult conditions. If I would go for better IQ and higher keepers rate, I will take my Canon 1D MIV and EF 70-200 f2.8 lens, but that is completely different category in terms of size, weight and price. For occasional use at indoor sport events, I found NEX 7 with a respective 55-210 lens slightly better, mainly in terms of AF and related keepers rate, than its counterpart from Samsung. On the other hand, Samsung seems to respond better to my PP method in terms of detail preservation.
But one should not be afraid to take any of those cameras for such occasions, and experiment with the settings to get satisfied results for normal use.
They are both, surprisingly capable.